Leicester Comedy Festival works with hundreds of venues and promoters every year. Each of them play a vital role in the running and promotion of the festival and work tirelessly to ensure that audiences are treated to some of the best stand-up comedy in the world.
In 2021, due to the national lockdown, we went digital! With the uncertainty of the situation, even if live events are allowed in February, we are keen to keep some digital content to the festivals. Acts and promoters can programme live stream of their events, or online only shows as part of the festivals.
As a venue you may be booking your own programme, or you may have a promoter doing it on your behalf. Either way, you need to make sure you understand the two roles and what is expected from you. The following information is on the basis of a venue working with an external promoter.
As a venue, when planning your festival programme, it’s important that any potential programme disruptions are avoided from the outset – this could include screenings of major sporting events at your venue or private venue hires and regular bookings.
Here are some things to think about:
The turnaround in-between shows – is there enough time to get the audience out before the next show, to clear the space, to tidy up the chairs etc.
The number of shows you run – if you’re new to the festival make sure you don’t underestimate the amount of work involved for you and your staff.
The ‘after-work’ crowd/early evening shows – this is an increasing festival audience; make sure you take them into account when deciding on show start times.
Late night shows – around 1/3 of Festival shows finished after 10pm last year. There is definitely an audience for these shows so don’t be too cautious!
Once you have your dates and times worked out for the festival programme you should agree these with your promoter in writing and share them with any key venue contacts. You and the promoter can now confidently book in shows knowing that the venue and its staff will be expecting them in February.
Once you have the programme in place you’ll need to submit all the shows and pay the festival fees. More on that here.
As a participating venue you need to make sure all your staff know about upcoming shows. Audiences, for example, may pop-in on a weekday lunchtime to ask about a Saturday night show and its important your staff know what to tell them - or at the very least can tell them how else to find out the information they’re looking for.
Promoters play a variety of roles within the festival to suit the needs of their acts, venues and the audiences. As a promoter your venues and acts will expect certain things of you so it’s important that the detail of your role is agreed and understood from the outset. In some instances a promoter may simply act as a booking agent, in others, the promoter will; book the acts, liaise with them and the venue in the run up to the festival, put posters up around the city and then be there on the night to collect the money on the door.
Here are a few things we expect from you, but do draw up your own agreement with venues and acts so everyone involved knows where responsibilities lie
You will need to ensure your venue has registered with the festival by the 16th September 2020 deadline
You will need to make your ‘deal’ clear to any acts you book and ensure you’re both clear on tech requirements, show promotion, festival fees and ticket settlements.
You will be the key venue contact. The festival team will expect you to be available to answer key questions and queries.
You will have access to ticket reports and it is up to you to share this information with your acts. We cannot respond to all acts individually so do not send them to us.
Promote the shows! You are after all an, er, promoter.
If you have any questions related to the booking of your programme please get in touch. We’re here to help!